Amended in Senate August 17, 2015

Amended in Senate July 16, 2015

Amended in Senate July 7, 2015

Amended in Assembly June 2, 2015

Amended in Assembly April 22, 2015

Amended in Assembly March 26, 2015

California Legislature—2015–16 Regular Session

Assembly BillNo. 1201

Introduced by Assembly Member Salas

February 27, 2015

An act to add Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 6940) to Part 1 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code, relating to fish and wildlife.


AB 1201, as amended, Salas. Fish and wildlife: Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta: predation by nonnative species.

The California Endangered Species Act prohibits the taking of an endangered, threatened, or candidate species, except as specified. Under the act, the Department of Fish and Wildlife may authorize the take of listed species if the take is incidental to an otherwise lawful activity and the impacts are minimized and fully mitigated.

This bill would require the department, by June 30, 2016, to develop a science-basedbegin delete approachend deletebegin insert planend insert that addresses predation by nonnative species upon species of fish listed pursuant to the act that reside all or a portion of their lives in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and that considers predation reduction for all Chinook salmon and other native species not listed pursuant to the act.

Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes. State-mandated local program: no.

The people of the State of California do enact as follows:

P2    1


The Legislature finds and declares all of the

3(a) Promoting the long-term ecological health of the
4Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta and the Sacramento and San Joaquin
5Rivers and their native species is critical to ensuring a reliable and
6sustainable water supply for all Californians.

7(b) Salmon are an iconic native California fish that are important
8to California’s economic, recreational, and environmental welfare.
9 California’s $1.5 billion commercial and recreational salmon
10fishing industries employ tens of thousands of people, provide
11endless recreational opportunities, and remain an important part
12of the cultural heritage of California’s Native American tribes.
13Winter-run Chinook salmon were listed as endangered under the
14federal Endangered Species Act in 1994.

15(c) Despite efforts to protect native species, the latest spring
16Kodiak trawl survey by the Department of Fish and Wildlife
17recorded among the lowest number ever for the species.

18(d) Ongoing drought conditions have significant impacts on
19California’s environment, fish and wildlife, residents, farms, and
20businesses, and have worsened conditions for Chinook salmon
21and delta smelt and further threaten survival of these species.

22(e) State and federal regulators must take concerted efforts to
23protect the environment, fish and wildlife, the economy, and
24residents of this state from the ongoing implications of drought
25and future water scarcity.

26(f) Predation can cause mortality among Chinook salmon and
27delta smelt and, as these populations continue to decline, ongoing
28predation may further negatively impact their potential recovery
29and hasten their extinction.

30(g) The state, including the Department of Fish and Wildlife
31and the Department of Water Resources, has been and is engaged
32in sponsoring and conducting scientific research on the effects of
33predation upon native species.

P3    1(h) It is the policy of the State of California to protect native
2species, particularly those at immediate risk of extinction.
3Consistent with that policy, it is important to evaluate strategies
4to reduce predation in a way that enhances the potential for native
5species’ survival.


SEC. 2.  

Chapter 8.5 (commencing with Section 6940) is added
7to Part 1 of Division 6 of the Fish and Game Code, to read:


9Chapter  8.5. Predation by Nonnative Species




(a) (1) The department shall, by June 30, 2016, develop
12a science-basedbegin delete approachend deletebegin insert planend insert that helps address predation by
13nonnative species upon species listed pursuant to Chapter 1.5
14(commencing with Section 2050) of Division 3 that reside all or
15a portion of their lives in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, as
16defined in Section 12220 of the Water Code. Plan development
17shall also take into considerationbegin delete predation reduction forend deletebegin insert reduction
18in the predation ofend insert
all Chinook salmon and other native species
19not listed pursuant to Chapter 1.5 (commencing with Section 2050)
20of Division 3.begin insert The plan may, if appropriate, include prioritization
21and phasing of approaches that are the most practical and effective
22in addressing predation issues.end insert

23(2) The department shall incorporate its existing predation
24research and study design efforts into development of the plan
25required pursuant to paragraph (1).

begin insert

26(3) The department, as part of plan development, shall actively
27solicit the input of the scientific community, including, but not
28limited to, the Delta Independent Science Board, and all interested
29stakeholders, including, but not limited to, water users and
30commercial and recreational fishing communities.

end insert

31(b) The department shall not implement the plan developed
32pursuant to subdivision (a) unless funding is made available.